Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Uphill is Hard

I do a lot of hiking and I know that hiking uphill is harder for me than going downhill. For some reason, I feel like gravity helps me move downhill, but I don’t have any help pulling me uphill.

I feel that negative thoughts are a lot like going downhill. It is easier to believe negative thoughts than positive thoughts. It seems like negative thoughts have more traction and weight. More people around me seem to support my negative thoughts but their words, facial expressions, or body language. They may not mean them but that is how I perceive them. It is always easy to expect the worst, so I won’t be disappointed when it happens.

Positive thoughts are very much like going uphill. It is harder for some reason to believe good things than bad ones. I don’t know if it is because I don’t always believe I deserve good things or if I think it feels too much like having a big ego. I might also think that maybe whatever I did that was so good was a fluke or a mistake where I expect bad things to happen. It can hurt to hope for something good that doesn’t happen.

I have to remember that my students feel the same way. As a teacher, I’m trying to give them hope for a brighter future. I want to open up the world and all its possibilities to them. But by the time I have them in my class, they have faced many failures and disappointments. They are very distrustful that I’m going to make any difference to them.

I like to start out with tasks that I know that my students can complete successfully. It is like walking uphill over little hills. The more hills I can get them to go over, the easier it is to move to bigger hills. Eventually, the inclines become steeper and longer. Eventually, the tasks I give them will be harder and more complex.

I also like to remind them that going uphill is always going to be harder. I burn more calories, use more muscles, and even breathe harder. But the views are usually worth the trouble! Without the uphill, we couldn’t appreciate the downhill. 

 Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

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